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IBA: Nearly One-Third of Lawyers Plan to Hire in Fourth Quarter

September 26, 2012

Nearly one-third (32 percent) of lawyers interviewed for the Robert Half Legal Hiring Index plan to hire full-time legal professionals during the fourth quarter of 2012, while three percent anticipate staff reductions. The net 29 percent of respondents projecting an increase in hiring activity is down one point from the previous quarter’s forecast. Law firms are expected to do much of the hiring; healthcare is the practice area predicted to see the most growth in the coming months.

The vast majority of lawyers surveyed are optimistic about business opportunities. Three-quarters (75 percent) of attorneys are somewhat or very confident in their organizations’ prospects for growth in the next three months, down nine points from the third-quarter survey.

Key Findings

• The net 29 percent of lawyers expecting to hire in the fourth quarter is down one point from the previous quarter’s forecast. Those who are hiring plan to add an average of two full-time positions.

• Healthcare is the practice area expected to see the most growth in the fourth quarter, followed by general business/commercial law and bankruptcy/foreclosure.

• Nearly half (45 percent) of lawyers say finding the right talent remains challenging, a six-point decrease from the third-quarter survey.

• Three-quarters (75 percent) are somewhat or very confident in their organizations’ prospects for growth in the next three months, a nine-point decline from last quarter.

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